Report: Citywide WiFi planned for Toronto

Toronto Hydro will announce plans Tuesday to create a citywide wireless network in the Canadian city, it was reported Monday.

The Toronto Globe and Mail said Hydro's plans would add Toronto to the growing list of major cities that will soon offer municipal WiFi broadband, and will put the electric utility in direct competition with telecom-based wireless operators.

Sources indicated the broadband project could be available in the downtown area by fall and would run in conjunction with the wireless "smart meters" mandated by Ontario law for residential utility customers.

The wireless mesh infrastructure will apparently be installed atop the street lights owned by Hydro.

One analyst said the idea of offering broadband to recoup the meter costs makes sense for Hydro, although other sources indicated the plan could face opposition from telcos.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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